Microbial Drugs

The majority of the medically important antibiotic drugs (including e.g., penicillins, cephalosporins, erythromycin, vancomycin, and daptomycin) are derived from secondary metabolites, which are produced by bacteria and filamentous fungi. Despite intensive world-wide efforts using alternative approaches based on synthetic chemistry, no other concept could so far surpass the historically successful strategy to exploit biologically active natural products as candidates for anti-infective drugs. The recently observed, increasing resistance of the human pathogens against antibiotics has prompted us to intensify our search for novel lead structures from microorganisms and fungi, which can be used as anti-infective drugs.



Dr Kathrin Wittstein


Curriculum Vitae

since 04/2013
Postdoctoral research scientist in the group of Prof. Marc Stadler, Department of Microbial Drugs, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

2006 – 2012
Doctoral studies in the group of Prof. Herbert Waldmann, Department of Chemical  Biology, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology
PhD thesis: "Development of annulation reactions for the synthesis of natural product-inspired scaffolds"

2001 - 2006
Studies in Chemistry, Technical University of Dortmund
Diploma thesis: "Synthesis of a combinatorial library of tricyclic tetrahydropyran and tetrahydrofuran derivatives"  

My current work focuses on isolation, structural elucidation and derivatization of natural products from fungi and actinomycetes. I am particularly interested in novel secondary metabolites with activity against Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria and anti-biofilm activity.



Natural Product Chemistry


Microbial Strain Collection

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